PDO-FUNDED STUDENT SIERRA PEEBLES has received the Outstanding Registered Apprenticeship Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor Apprenticeship and Training Office, which recognized her dedication, determination, and perseverance to overcome obstacles.

Sierra’s educational journey has not always been easy. Diagnosed with a form of dyslexia that affects her reading comprehen- sion, Sierra often was placed into lower-level classes and experienced peer bullying that affected her self-esteem. While she had many teachers and family members who were supportive, it was clear she would have to advocate for herself going into adulthood. Her determination to persist started by voluntarily attending Saturday detentions in high school to take advantage of homework help.

“I was determined to overcome feeling different and focused on opportunities to improve, rather than on any limitations,” Sierra says.

The benefits of Sierra having earned a PDO-funded CDA credential (Infant/Toddler) and Registered Apprenticeship have been many, including a boost in her self-esteem and professional empowerment, and the informed teachings she imparts to the children she teaches. Today, Sierra earns higher wages, bought a car, and moved into her own home! She plans to pursue an Associate’s degree.

“The support I received from the entire apprenticeship team and my instructor, from coaching and mentorship to study sessions and their belief in me, made all the difference,” she said. “I am thankful the PDO funded me; that made my achievements possible.”

Sierra wants to share her experiences so others are encouraged to persist and overcome challenges. “You may need special accommodations to pass classes or tests, and it may take longer to reach your goals, but winning this award and earning my CDA credential are proof that anything is possible.”

Congratulations and best wishes, Sierra!